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December 2016

Bats in the garden

There are 56 bat species in South Africa and they are either insectivorous and eat mosquitoes, moths and beetles so do leave a dead tree in the garden which will attract insects. Fruit eaters and nectar feeders help with pollination and seed dispersal. To encourage and keep bats, keep an environmentally friendly space without the use of insecticides and poisons. Put up a light to attract the insects which will then attract the bats. Make sure that you have tall trees in which they roost. The fruit bats eat big, juicy ripe fruit so plant a few fruit trees and Ficus species for them.
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Fragrant Leaves

Fragrant leaves are useful if you are doing a flower arrangement as they freshen the air. They can also be used for potpourri. Some people use the crushed leaves of Plectranthus as a body wipe or wash. They grow best in the shade or semi shade. Artemesia afra is a medicinal plant with very strongly scented leaves that are used to cure sinus and other ailments. Clausena arisata's common name is "perde pis" so that gives you an idea of how pungent they are. They are however boiled as a tea to cleanse the body internally. These trees attract butterflies.
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